Based in Spain since 2006

Chapter 1 : “The Beginning” Tour

All good endings start with a great beginning! We start our Camino at the border of Spain in the Pyrenees. On this journey, we come down from Roncesvalles into Hemingway’s Pamplona, stroll through the vineyards of La Rioja, and pass through hilltop villages connected by Roman Roads.

Experience and Expertise

Your two bilingual guides that accompany the tour are either Spanish or live in Spain year round. This is our home and we love to share it with you!

Fabulous Food

Except for one dinner and one lunch, all your meals (B,L,D) are included, so you only need to worry about enjoying the trail! Weather permitting, our gourmet picnics showcase the freshest of local flavors.

Unique Accommodations

Charming restored manor homes and 3-4 star hotels that offer the best in hospitality, comfort, and location.

Semi-Independent Tour

You choose! Walk alone with the assurance that we’ll take care of you or enjoy the company of others and your knowledgeable guides.

Van Supported

No need to carry a heavy pack – let us do the lifting while you do the walking.

Expect to have a wonderful time!

We’ve designed each trip to enjoy the stunning beauty of the Spanish landscape, while giving you a true sense of the soul and magic of these exciting people and their culture. We love to share this magnificent country and want you to feel a part of it. For us it is more than just a trip, it is our home.

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The Church of Santiago and Charlemagne's Silo at Roncesvalles on the Camino de Santiago.

Day 1

Pamplona & Roncesvalles

Accommodations: Roncesvalles (D)

Meeting time: 2:00pm

Walking: 5 km / 3 mi

In the afternoon, we meet the group in Pamplona for a private transfer to the foothills of the Pyrenees. We start our Camino with a walk up and down into Roncesvalles, where we attend a moving Pilgrim's Mass. The blessing at the end is an appropriate way for us to start our journey. Afterwards, we have our first night’s feast - perhaps some trout, like the ones Hemingway used to catch in the local river!
The Camino de Santiago in the Pyrenees leaving Roncesvalles.

Day 2

Roncesvalles - Linzoáin

Accommodations: Zubiri (B, L, D)

Walking: 14 km / 9 mi

Leaving our hotel, we follow the yellow arrow through pastures and fields that make this part of Basque Navarra so famous for its local fresh produce. We walk by "caserios", giant stone farm houses that have been in the same family for generations and generations. Tradition is the theme here! Our day ends at the town’s "fronton", the court where Basque Pelota is enjoyed by the youngsters!
The Bridge at Zubiri on the Camino de Santiago.

Day 3

Linzoáin - Zuriain

Accommodations: Pamplona (B, L, D)

Walking: 17 km / 11 mi

After a good morning climb and descent, we come across the Gothic bridge known as "La Rabia," which was used by farmers in a ritual to prevent their livestock from developing rabies (rabia) in Zubiri. We continue to Larrasoaña, a town with strong ties to the Camino as it was mentioned in the 12th century Codex Calixtinus, the official Camino guide book of the time! Keep an eye out for several Jacobean signs and armor shields on the stone buildings.
Medieval Gate to Pamplona on the Camino de Santiago.

Day 4

Zuriain - Pamplona

Accommodations: Pamplona (B, L)

Walking: 12 km / 7 mi

A lighter day in the boots, we work our way into Pamplona, where we come across the 15th century Cathedral of Santa María la Real, with its beautiful cloisters and interesting façade. Pamplona’s patron saint is San Fermín, and in keeping with tradition, this energetic university city is always filled with tourists and locals, ready to keep the festivities going!
The Alto del Perdon on the Camino de Santiago.

Day 5

Pamplona - Uterga

Accommodations: Pamplona (B, L, D)

Walking: 17 km / 11 mi

We leave Pamplona and make our way to Cizur Menor, where we can see the Church of San Miguel Arcángel. To get the blood going, the Camino gives us our first steady climb to the crest of the Alto de Perdón, where we enjoy the views of the surrounding valleys. After coming down the hill, we regroup and return to Pamplona, where we have some time to continue exploring the city.
Pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago in Navarra.

Day 6

Uterga - Cirauqui

Accommodations: Estella (B, L, D)

Walking: 16 km / 10 mi

Our day begins with a special treat as we visit the 12th century Romanesque Church of Santa Maria de Eunate, one of the jewels of the Camino! Was this a stronghold for the Knights Templar? Following the scallop shells, we come to Puente la Reina, named in honor of Doña Mayor, who had the bridge built to make sure pilgrims coming from the French & Aragonés routes, could continue walking safely.
Camino de Santiago in Navarra.

Day 7

Cirauqui - Estella

Accommodations: Estella (B, L, D)

Walking: 14 km / 9 mi

Leaving Cirauqui, we walk through rich agricultural fields of olives, grapes, almonds and fruit trees and will suddenly find ourselves along ancient Roman roads and bridges leading into Lorca. After a few ups and downs, we enter the once magnificent town of Estella, where we still see evidence of its importance in the 11th century as a merchant town. Pilgrims were also greatly respected, and their rights specifically protected in Estella's town charter.
Approaching Villamaior de Monjardin on the Camino de Santiago.

Day 8

Estella - Los Arcos

Accommodations: Estella (B, L, D)

Walking: 22 km / 14 mi

Walking out of Estella, we come across the ancient Benedictine Monastery of Irache, where the winery still honors the ancient tradition of providing free wine to pilgrims! Have a sip, but not too much as you still have km's ahead! The tower of the 12th century Church of San Andrés lets you know you’ve arrived in Villamayor de Monjardín, before continuing on to Los Arcos, whose ancient entrance was known as the Gate of Shells, and was the access point to the Jewish quarter.
Entering La Rioja wine country on the Camino de Santiago.

Day 9

Los Arcos - Viana

Accommodations: Viana (B, L, D)

Walking: 18 km / 11 mi

Our walk today takes us through kilometers and kilometers of vineyards. While in Torres del Río have a look at the Iglesia de Santo Sepulcro, attributed to the Knights Templar, before continuing to Viana. Viana is an energetic town with a lot of Camino history. Take in the sights and enjoy this lovely town.
The town of Viana on the Camino de Santiago.

Day 10

Viana - Logroño

Accommodations: Viana (B, D)

Walking: 9 km / 6 mi

This morning, we continue on and enter Logroño, the capital of La Rioja, and famous for its superb red wines. As today is a shorter walk, it would only be appropriate to spend the afternoon with a visit to a local bodega and sample some of these fine wines! We finish the evening with a fine meal to finish our first Chapter along the Camino de Santiago!
The Church of Santiago in Logroño.

Day 11

Logroño

Accommodations: ITINERARY ENDS (B)

Tour Ends after breakfast, we wish you well and hope to see you on Chapter 2!

 

*Please note: This itinerary is subject to slight modifications due to hotel availability, weather, festivals, and other occurences.

2 Guides

Our greatest resource! We know Spain, because it is our home. Both of your guides are experienced professionals that are either Spanish or live in Spain year round – no hired out summer help! When specified, local art historians will join us to provide further insights of the specific monument / museum that we visit.

* Groups of 3 – 6 pax are accompanied by only 1 guide.

Limited Group Sizes

Fresco Tours are in small groups to ensure that you receive the individual attention that you deserve. In order to treat each of our clients with a personal touch, we limit our group size to a maximum of 16 participants.

Accommodations

Fresco Tours selects a combination of 3-4 star hotels, restored country manors and B&B’s that offer the best in hospitality, comfort and location. All rooms have their own bathrooms. Tour prices are based on double occupancy.

All Meals

Food speaks volumes about a culture and we love to eat! During our walk days, when possible, we prepare gourmet picnics, using the freshest of local ingredients and selecting the tastiest recipes of the region. Dinners are celebrated in restaurants chosen not only for their menu, but also their atmosphere and service. Except for one dinner and one lunch, all your breakfast, lunches and dinners are included. We are proud to cater to vegetarians and those with food allergies as well.

Support Vehicle

Your walks will be accompanied by a support vehicle that will be there to provide you assistance when the route permits. The possibility of shorter routes and pick-up options will be explained on a daily basis.

Luggage Transfer

Your luggage will be transported between hotels. You do the walking, we’ll do the lifting!

Special Event Tickets

Wine tastings, garden tours, concerts, etc. as outlined in the itinerary.

Additional Assistance

We are here to help! Need assistance with hotels prior to or after your trip? Train or bus tickets to and from our tour? Questions about what to wear? Based in Spain, we are here to make sure that your trip runs smooth as can be – we are available!

Ground Transportation

All ground transportation between the designated starting and finishing point of your Fresco Tour is provided. We will help facilitate information for your travel arrangements prior to and after the tour start and finish.

Not Included

Airfare to and from Spain, airport taxes / departure fees, visas, gratuities or tips, items of personal nature – laundry, phone, luggage surplus charges, medical expenses, bar, etc.

Prior to / After your Fresco Tour: Should your vacation to Spain be for more than a few days prior to or after your Fresco Tour, perhaps you would be interested in a Spain-taineous Custom Tour and personalized private itinerary. Let us know and we’ll create an itinerary especially in tune with your needs and desires.

Table of Contents

Getting There & Back 

How do I get to the Chapter 1 – The Beginning Tour starting point? 

Pamplona, Spain is the official starting point of the Chapter 1: Camino de Santiago tour and can be reached via train, or bus. Traveling from either Madrid or Barcelona, one can choose between the train (RENFE) or the bus (ALSA). For a sample of prices and timetables, please see: 

RENFE Train – Madrid to Pamplona & Barcelona to Pamplona 

ALSA Bus – Madrid to Pamplona & Barcelona to Pamplona 

How can I purchase my bus or train tickets beforehand?

The RENFE website can be a bit temperamental. Therefore, we recommend Omio website for purchasing tickets. Omio is a travel booking platform with more than 1,000 trusted partners across trains, buses, and airport transfers. Search, compare and book all in one place so you can focus on the journey.

Keep in mind, the sale of train tickets depends on RENFE’s scheduling and some routes cannot be purchased until approximately 30 to 60 days prior to departure – please be patient. Schedules and availability are also subject to change based on train maintenance needs.

How do I get from Logroño to Madrid and other cities? 

There are now RENFE trains that will get you from Logroño to Madrid in less than 4 hours. While routes and availability may vary upon time of booking, there are several daily trains from Logroño to Madrid. 

How do I get from Madrid Airport to the city center? 

If your flight flies into Madrid’s T-4 (Aeropuerto T-4) terminal, you have a local Cercanias train that will get you from the airport to the Atocha and Chamartín train station in 25-30 minutes. These trains leave the T-4 station more or less every half an hour. For more information, please visit RENFE Train. 

In addition, there is an express bus that services all terminals at the airport with the Atocha Train Station.

On the Road 

What is the weather like on Chapter 1 – The Beginning Tour? 

Fresco Tours Chapter 1: Camino de Santiago Tour covers the first 144 km of the Camino Frances. Here we enjoy a more temperate climate, and it is generally cooler than other parts of the Camino de Santiago and Spain in the summer. 

Visit these links for current and average monthly temperatures of Pamplona and Logroño. 

What is a typical day like on Chapter 1 – The Beginning Tour? 

After breakfast, we lace up and get the blood going with a walk for a couple hours, where we will do a check point to make sure that everything is OK. You then continue along the Camino for another 1-2 hours where you will come across a complete gourmet picnic prepared with the freshest local ingredients. On some days, we continue for 1-2 hours more after lunch to burn off dessert. 

In the afternoon, we go to our hotels, where we take a shower, siesta and just relax! We finish our day with a glass of tinto and a feast of the local gastronomy. We then retire for the night and get ready to do it again! On some afternoons, we have planned excursions, such as a visit to an ancient monastery or perhaps a massage! 

Does the group stop for breaks on Chapter 1 – The Beginning Tour? 

The great thing about the Camino is that it is very well-marked and we encourage people to walk at a pace that is comfortable for them – this is not a race! We want you to enjoy the route and we also like to stop with our clients for a coffee or cerveza along the way and take everything in! 

What is the terrain like on Chapter 1 – The Beginning Tour? 

On this part of the Camino, the terrain will have some descents and climbs, combined with stretches of flat ground. The trail is a combination of compact dirt and stone footpaths and small country roads. 

What is the change in elevation on Chapter 1 – The Beginning Tour? 

We will be walking from Roncesvalles to Logroño, the first 144 km of the Camino de Santiago. For a detailed map of the distances between towns along the Camino and their respective altitudes, please click here. 

How many kilometers are walked each day on Chapter 1 – The Beginning Tour? 

The number of kilometers scheduled for each day ranges from 14 km to 22 km. We have designed this tour to allow the possibility to walk the first 144 km from Roncesvalles. However, the walks are accompanied by a support vehicle and options for less (or more!) km’s are possible on a daily basis. We can tailor the Camino to suit your needs! 

Will I be able to do laundry on Chapter 1 – The Beginning Tour?  

On Chapter 1 – the Beginning Tour we offer a Fresco Tours laundry service roughly halfway through the trip where you can send your clothes to the laundromat to have them washed and dried. In addition, some hotels will have the capability to do laundry on the premises or you can use local laundromats whenever you’d like. We also recommend that you bring quick-drying clothes that you can handwash and dry overnight at the hotel if all else fails! 

Before You Go / Preparing 

What type of shoes do I need to walk Chapter 1 – The Beginning Tour? 

Footwear is a very personal question – depending on how active you are and how much support you will need. Since we will be walking on a daily basis on the Camino de Santiago, I believe that comfort is key – you do not want to get blisters. You probably won’t need a full high boot that covers your ankle (unless you need this support), but rather light trail walkers or even running shoes if you are used to walking. In the spring, there may be mud and water along the trail, so keep that in mind. Most important: Make sure that they are well broken in! 

What sort of conditioning do I need to undertake before Chapter 1 – The Beginning Tour? 

We encourage you to walk before and be prepared for your own enjoyment. However, this is your vacation and not boot camp! During your walk, one of the two guides will be on the trail with the group to ensure that all is well. Additionally, we have planned check points along the way with our support van to make sure you have plenty of water, offer you need a change of shoes, or if you just feel like taking a break. In most cases, you will see the van at a minimum every couple of hours. 

Booking a Tour

Thank you for choosing to travel with Fresco Tours! We are very excited for you to join the ranks of our Happy Customers. If at any moment you should have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. Thank you again and we look forward to sharing memories of a lifetime with you.

Reservations and Payments

To join us on a Fresco Tour, please visit our Secure Online Reservation Form or download and print a PDF version of the Reservation Form, one for each participant. To reserve your space on a tour, a 15% deposit per person is required and payment should be made via credit card (Visa or MasterCard only), bank transfer or via Wise transferThe balance of your tour payment is due 60 days prior to the departure date. If the tour that you selected begins within 60 days of booking, final payment is due at that time. Failure to receive the remainder of your trip balance by the due date will be considered a cancellation.

Confirmation

Once Fresco Tours has received your registration form and tour deposit, we will send you an email with an invoice of payments received and your remaining balance, a copy of our Assumption of Risk / Liability Waiver Form and a link to your Guest Questionnaire. These last 2 items must be returned 60 days prior to the start of tour. In addition, we will send you a Confirmation Packet with information regarding suggestions on preparation, a packing and reading list and other tips to get you excited and prepared for your Fresco Tour.

Final Registration

Once we have received final payment, the signed Assumption of Risk / Liability Waiver Form and Guest Questionnaire, you will be sent a receipt and final details regarding your tour, including a detailed itinerary and the hotel contact list.

Single Supplement Fee

Due to the nature of the accommodations we use, there are a limited number of single rooms available. Requests for these rooms are based on availability. Please see the tour itinerary for the cost of this fee. In some cases, it may imply a room smaller in size than a standard double room. If you are traveling alone, and would like to share a room, we will do our best to match you with a same-gender roommate.

Cancellation / Refund Policies

All cancellations must be made in writing. No refunds will be issued due to late arrival, early departure, or any unused portion of a tour. The Assumption of Risk / Liability Waiver form must be signed and received 60 days prior to tour departure or the reservation will also be treated as a cancellation. Cancellation fees are outlined below:

Time Price
Cancellations received 121 or more days prior to trip start
10% of trip price
Cancellations received 120 - 61 days prior to trip start
15% of trip price
Cancellations received 60 - 31 days prior to trip start
50% of trip price
Cancellations received 30 days or less prior to trip start
100% of trip price

Fresco Tours reserves the right to change, modify, or cancel a tour prior to departure for any reason, including lack of participants (tour minimum: 3-6 passengers with 1 guide, 7 passengers or more with 2 guides) or acts of nature and/or circumstances beyond our control. In this case, any payments received will be refunded in full, and this will constitute full settlement. Fresco Tours is not responsible for any additional expenses due to a canceled tour, such as the purchase of non-refundable airline tickets.

Fresco Tours reserves the right to accept, refuse, or decline any tour member’s participation at any time for any reason. In such a case, Fresco Tour’s liability is limited to the actual cost of the unused services.

Changing Tour Dates

If we are notified of a change to your scheduled tour date 6 months prior, you can apply your tour deposit to another departure date without penalty. This change can be up to 1 calendar year in advance and is subject to availability. Otherwise, the above Cancellation Fees will be applied.

As Spain-taneous Private Tours are custom built and created with specific dates in mind, any modifications will incur a 15% surcharge.

Insurance

In accordance with Spanish law and for the duration of your tour with Fresco Tours, you are covered by a basic insurance provided by Intermundial.  We  strongly advise the purchase of a more comprehensive travel insurance that includes trip cancellation / interruption. We suggest using Travelinsurance.com, which allows you to compare and assess top insurance provider policies and their different coverage plans.

Traveling Safely and Responsibly

Traveling during these complex times requires a bit more planning and a lot more reassurance. We believe that the Fresco Tours style of travel is particularly well-suited to safe activities: walking in the outdoors, small group sizes, strong reliable relationships with our local partners and, most importantly, we have the local knowledge of our home – the Camino de Santiago and the Spanish culture.

Guided

11 days / 10 nights

144 km / 89 mi

Camino Frances

Sep 21 - Oct 1, 2024
May 24 - Jun 3, 2025
Available
Sep 20 - 30, 2025
Available

Price per person

3595 €

3,906.63 $

* USD$ price based on current exchange rate

Single Supplement Fee

595 €

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